COLUMN: My love hate relationship with burnout


Katja Benz, Columnist

I’m very thankful the summer is closing out now because of my summer class and internship. Choosing to do both in the same semester was nothing short of awful.

I truly enjoyed both my class (it was my senior seminar- I highly recommend the foreign language film one (and no, my professor didn’t tell me to say that)) and my internship.

While I’m glad I took two summer classes (my internship had a ‘course’ component to it in D2L), I am so burned out that all I want to do is nap for the two and a half weeks that I’m home (before coming back for training for the fall semester- yeah not my smartest move. Don’t rub it in).

I soon noticed that I was getting burned out; the unmotivated state of ‘blah’ that may or may not come with stress and having little to no time for rest. And when I was resting, I couldn’t even enjoy it because I was thinking about all the work I had to do.

For those that don’t know burnout is defined by The World Health Organization as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”.

While my internship or my class alone wouldn’t have stressed me out, both together in such a short amount of time caused me to rethink my decision over time.

My point is that I didn’t think it’d be this hard- and for the most part it isn’t or wasn’t I should say. I could do my internship when I was at the office or at night, and I usually did classwork at night or on the weekends. And so much of my classwork was repetitive (in a good way), so I knew what to expect.

I will say that even though it was a cycle that was almost painful, I learned a lot about myself. And I wouldn’t have done so had I not done this.

I learned that I loved my internship in academic advising, and I can’t wait for grad school and to be an advisor.

I learned that I have limits. While I don’t usually like to admit such a thing, overworking myself is a nasty coping mechanism for something I would rather not get into.

I learned that I have a lot to learn. And I learned that it’s okay to accept that you’re learning and that it’s something that everyone does all the time.

I learned that I don’t really handle stress well, and that’s somewhere I need to improve.

Most importantly, I learned that nobody knows what they’re doing and that’s okay. We are all just going along doing the best we can with what information we have.

While I probably won’t take a class and an internship together again, I at least know what I need. Burnout sucks, but it’s also the best.

Katja Benz is a senior English major. She can be reached at [email protected] or at 217-581-2812.